Author Topic: ESD Mat  (Read 22753 times)

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Offline requim

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ESD Mat
« on: November 09, 2011, 07:41:53 pm »
I'm looking to buy a high quality 2 or 3 layer rubber ESD mat similar to what Dave has in his lab. I've priced some out and found that they are indeed quite pricey.  I'm not sure whether there is a big difference between the various vendors.  Anyway it occurred to me that if I could find others to split the cost with that buying a roll and splitting it up would save each of us a significant amount of money.  Rolls are typically in the 40-50 foot range.  I'd like something in the neighborhood of 5 feet x 3 feet or 60 inches by 36 inches.  By that standard I would need to find 7 - 9 other people who would be interested in participating.

I'm in the US so to make it easier on myself I'd rather only do this with others in the US.  I think shipping would make it prohibitively expensive for anyone outside of the US.

The general price I'm seeing for a 3x5 foot mat is $100+ whereas a 50 foot roll is around $500.  I've seen them a bit cheaper and I've seen them for over a grand.  I'm open to suggestions since it's all greek to me.

Is there enough interest to do this? or should I just bite the bullet and spend the big bucks for a single mat?  If anyone is interested either leave a message here or shoot me an email titled "EEVBlog ESD Mat".


 

Offline IanB

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 09:46:00 pm »
Are you looking to buy a gold-plated mat? I've looked around and it seems you can buy static dissipative desktop rubber work mats in the US at prices from $15 up. For home use I think I would be happy myself with one of those. Given the inevitable damage from flux spills, cuts and solder drips I'd rather have something disposable than something expensive.
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Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2011, 10:11:38 pm »
Gold I think would be self-defeating.. May as well just go with a copper mat and call it good.  Much cheaper, though it would require more upkeep.  A bit more affordable though.

Here are a couple of different mats I've seen that look good:

http://www.esdmat.com/esd_high_temperature_mat_kits.php

http://www.esdproduct.com/esd_vinyl_mats.php

http://parts.digikey.com/1/parts/433984-laminate-mica-esd-blue-36x10-10183.html

http://www.alliedelec.com/search/productdetail.aspx?SKU=6168214

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RUBBER-3-LAYER-MAT-ROLL-BLUE-ANTI-STATIC-ESD-CONTROL-0-060-x-29-x-50-R-8004-/180742421100?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a15167a6c#ht_500wt_1144

The last one is probably good as well but I don't much care for the color.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2011, 10:19:47 pm »
Yes, those look nice, but do you really need one like that, when one like this might do? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000TAAHJA
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Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2011, 10:28:46 pm »
What's the difference?  If we're talking need I could get by without a mat altogether and risk it.  I'd like to buy a mat that will last for a long time.  I have no experience with the cheap ones or the expensive ones.  The inexpensive ones are usually small and I assume have a relatively short life span.  I'd like one to cover my table/workspace that will last for decades (if that's even reasonable).  If I buy a larger one then I'll have plenty of space to do my computer builds as well as my electronics stuff. 

Need/want, it's all the same.  I'm willing to spend the money to get what I want.  I figure if others are interested in doing the same then I may was well see if we can do it at a lower cost.  If not, then I just need to decide which one I like best and make the jump.

I'm certainly open to suggestions.  Oh and for the record I've seen the one on Amazon you linked to as well as one that's about 80 quid for a computer builders mat.  The computer builders mat looked decent, but I didn't have much faith it would stand up to solder very well.  From what I understand rubber is the best option for soldering.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2011, 10:40:47 pm »
I don't have a mat, but I think the ones on Amazon are mainly intended for computer dis-assembly rather than soldering. But they can still come in a decent size such as 2' x 3'.

The expensive ones you linked to are heat resistant and mechanically stronger, and that is perhaps why they cost more.

On my workbench at home I have a sheet of corrugated cardboard to protect the surface underneath. It means I can treat it like a work surface and not have to care about damage, and I don't have much concern for static with what I use it for. If I wanted an anti-static mat I would get one of those ones from Amazon to see what I liked and didn't like about the design before I spent more money on an expensive one.
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Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2011, 10:49:10 pm »
I'm just not sure buying a $16 vinyl mat on amazon is really going to tell me anything.  I'd also need to buy a 2 layer rubber mat as well and a small one of those is still going to run around 40 - 50 for comparison purposes. From what I've read rubber is the way to go.  If I'm not mistaken it's what Dave uses.  I'd love to know exactly which mat he uses so I can at least use that as a point of comparison in my decision making process. 

@eevblog -- how about it?  Can you tell us what mat you use?

I figure at the end of the day if I buy one it will run me about $100.  I view it as an investment, because heaven knows i've been building computers for decades without one.  I figure since I'm getting more into the component side of things I should play it safe and get an ESD mat.
 

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 12:00:47 am »
try using the search above it could just reveal answers like https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=5339.0 without waiting for personal assistance.

Most people here do try to help when possible, but they can be busy (or watching BTTF reruns at the time) and will appreciate any efforts you can make to help yourself. The is a huge compendium of knowledge setting here in existing threads.
 

Offline Balaur

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 12:01:39 am »
Yes, those look nice, but do you really need one like that, when one like this might do? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000TAAHJA

I have exactly the same one at home. Perfectly adequate for home use. The only drawback (beside that's too cheap ;) is that it's not heat resistant.
One drop of molten solder and it's worse that Aliens' blood. You should also keep the hot air from it as well.
But I can perfectly live with this limitation since I usually have good solder discipline.

At work we have much better ones that have seen a lot of abuse. They are not invincible though.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 12:18:34 am »
@Uncle Vernon - you assume I didn't read the thread prior to posting. If you notice I posted this under Buy/Sell/Wanted, not General Chat.  I still have yet to see Dave state which specific mat he uses, hence the question.  However my original proposal holds true, to see whether anyone wants to go in on splitting a roll to reduce the unit cost or whether I'm just going to buy one.

If you have any links that show discussions/reviews of various ESD mats I'd love to see them because I have yet to find them in my searching.
 

Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 12:21:02 am »
@Balaur - at this point I couldn't tell you what constitutes good solder discipline versus what doesn't.  I don't routinely find solder on my table nor do I leave the iron on the table.  I do however find that my table gets torn up with the various electronic components, disassembled units, etc that get pushed, pulled, turned, etc on the table top.  I do not know how any of the mats will hold up under those conditions.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 12:33:17 am »
I do however find that my table gets torn up with the various electronic components, disassembled units, etc that get pushed, pulled, turned, etc on the table top.  I do not know how any of the mats will hold up under those conditions.
I don't think you will want to cover your entire work surface with a work mat, just a small area in front of you where you do assembly and soldering. Even the most durable mat will not survive being used as an every day work surface.

As for what Dave has, it has been posted here somewhere. It is some of that expensive kind of stuff you have been looking at, only from an Australian supplier.

I would not be that interested in a group buy since the quality stuff is about $1000 for a 50' roll and by the time it is cut into individual lengths and then shipping costs are taken into account there does not seem to be much of a cost saving.
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Uncle Vernon

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 12:36:01 am »
@Uncle Vernon - you assume I didn't read the thread prior to posting.
You have no basis for knowing what the feckz I am assuming or not assuming.

Quote
If you notice I posted this under Buy/Sell/Wanted, not General Chat.
What has that got to do with the price of nougat in Norway? Were you assuming that somehow has special status?

Quote
I still have yet to see Dave state which specific mat he uses, hence the question.
It's not my OR YOUR business to state what Dave or anyother poster for that matter does or doesn't do. It's a public forum not your little spot for demanding personal assistance from anyone!

Quote
However my original proposal holds true, to see whether anyone wants to go in on splitting a roll to reduce the unit cost or whether I'm just going to buy one.
Perhaps someone will be interested.

Quote
If you have any links that show discussions/reviews of various ESD mats I'd love to see them because I have yet to find them in my searching.
I just posted you one, I'm sure you can find more if you make the effort.  It's an antistatic mat FFS and you want a scrap for a hobby bench what are you expecting molecular analysis. Are you then planning import from the antipodes?

The post quoted included information on the material, pricing and address of some (Australian) suppliers. What were you hoping for? A video of some being shot over a waterfall?

I offered some polite assistance and this is your reaction? I and and a lot of people watching your tantrum will probably not be bothering to assist you further on this one.  Enjoy!


« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 01:06:49 am by Uncle Vernon »
 

Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2011, 12:51:14 am »
Wow I didn't realize I was the one having a tantrum.  I stand corrected. I'm just here looking for help and trying to learn.
 

Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2011, 12:58:30 am »
@IanB - I think your analysis is correct.  I basically came to the same conclusion, that while I may save ten to twenty bucks it just isn't worth the hassle.  C'est la vie. It was worth considering.  I'm not excited to spend alot of money on an esd mat. 

And perhaps you are right, maybe I need to scale down the size of mat I am looking for.  If I keep my equipment on the same table there is no point in having the equipment on an esd mat, but if I put my equipment on a shelf just above the table, then having a large mat would be nice.  As it is with computers having a larger mat would be nice to put down the various components without worrying about anything.  As for solder work with small pcb's then a small mat seems just fine.  Doing repair work seems equivalent to doing computer work so I'd think I'd want a bigger mat.

So it seems in some ways that having two tables / benches is the better option, one to beat up and the other to do soldering, esd type stuff.  And for the space constrained, a single bench with a removable esd mat.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2011, 01:04:17 am »
I have a moderate sized desk/bench. I have my work mat as a small clear island in front of my chair and the rest of the worktop free for tools, equipment and other stuff I need close to hand. I prefer to have things like my soldering iron off the mat and on the bench top.
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Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2011, 01:14:16 am »
My work area at the moment is a 3'x5' table that shares space with a couple monitors, keyboard and stereo receiver.  Needless to say it's crowded.  I put the equipment on the table I need at the moment I'm working on something.  This is of course just a temporary issue since I'm in temporary housing.  Once I relocated the table will be my entire workbench. 

As for whether I'll be able to mount any shelving to place equipment onto is yet to be seen, but the table will not alter in size hence the desire for a 36" x 60" esd mat. I thought the surface would look funny if I had a 24" x 60" mat at the front with the last foot showing the surface of the table.  I still like the idea of having a 60" wide mat and something at least 20-24 inches in depth since I do a lot of computer stuff and building computers takes a fair amount of surface area.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2011, 01:52:32 am »
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2011, 01:57:22 am »
@DrGeoff - Thanks.  If only they sold it here in the US.  I'll see if I can find a datasheet on it and use that to compare to the ones available here in the US.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2011, 02:01:28 am »
I think it is a ChemTools product, distributed here by Okay. You should be able to find ChemTools in the US.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

Offline Joshua

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ESD Mat
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2011, 04:54:32 am »
I would check out All-Spec Industries line of rubber mats. I would not get vinyl. I really like the company - very professional and helpful. I believe I have the Sierra brand heavy duty rubber mat. I have a 2' x 5' mat and it came to about $103 with shipping and mat cleaner. Fast FedEx shipping. Like I said, I really like the service from them.

They also sell rolls of it. Occasionally they have sales in their mats.
 

Offline requim

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2011, 05:16:53 am »
@Joshua - Thanks for the recommendation.  I went ahead and ordered the following:

https://www.all-spec.com/products/APW120G.html

Total cost shipped was ~$94.  I settled on 24"x60" because I figured that if I got 30"x60" I would have six inches at the back and that everything I put down would end up being off balance.  This way anything in the last foot will be level and if anything is longer than that I'll deal with it.  If I could have found a 36"x60" I would have bought it.  Oh well.  Hopefully this lasts me a long time.  I'd have preferred dark blue but the option wasn't available.
 

Offline sata

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2013, 05:33:24 pm »
Just want to report another opinion.

Bought the ESD bench matting with extra cushion layer from http://www.somersetsolders.com/product.php/1068/88/esd_bench_matting_with_extra_cushion_layer
It's cheap and made of rubber, and comfortable to use.

However, as it came it brought a huge smell of rubber, making it almost impossible to be in the same room as the mat. Quite disturbing.
Had tried several methods found on google to remove the smell, but no products helped.
After 20-30 cycles on a hoven at 80 degrees, the smell is now completely bearable.

I'm happy now with my purchase. But had to warn yo guys about the strong rubbery smell.
 

Offline dexters_lab

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2013, 12:12:53 am »
Pretty sure this is what i have, its quite tough. Solder blobs make a mark but dont stick

I picked up an esd tester from a radio rally a few years back, says its ok

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/esd-safe-mats/2877644/
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Offline ddavidebor

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ESD Mat
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2013, 09:27:42 am »
For the rubber smell just wash it with alcool (but it will smell of alcool )


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Offline G0HZU

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2013, 07:06:07 pm »
Earlier this year I bought a couple of Multicomp ESD mats from Farnell. These were bought as ESD covers for a couple of desks I have here.

These also stank really strongly of rubber when unpacked. So bad you could not stay in a 12' x 9' room with them for more than a few minutes. I could even smell them when going up the stairs to the rooms they were in. They were also very clammy and cold to the touch. Terrible.

I tried all kinds of cleaners to remove the smell and nothing worked. I ended up putting both of them in the very warm central heating cupboard area and it took several months for them to lose the smell.

They are heat resistant and non slip and look like they will last a long time. The clammy feel has also gone now and I'm now quite pleased with them. But you have to age the smell away by storing them in a hot area or wear a peg on your nose for the first few months!

Note that for some mats you are not supposed to get certain chemicals or solvents on the underside of the mat. eg acid/alkali or alcohol can damage them.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 07:34:31 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline wilheldp

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2013, 09:44:02 pm »
I got one of the ESD mats from iFixIt for Xmas.  It seems to be nice construction and doesn't have a rubbery smell.  The only issue I have with it is that the working surface is white and I can see it getting very dirty very quickly with use.
 

Offline JOERGG

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2014, 02:19:30 am »
@eevblog -- how about it?  Can you tell us what mat you use?

Dave did tell us

http://www.eevblog.com/2011/12/24/eevblog-228-new-lab-progress/
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Offline cidcorp

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2014, 09:51:21 pm »

Another good option (or rather I've been looking at), but a little pricey is from ULINE (.COM for US and .CA FOR CANADA) - They sell an item S-12742 which sells around $100 USD or $110ish CAD.

2 x 4' Rubber Anti-Static Table Mat


Good for Chemical and Soldering area. 

Also if memory serves me (doesn't normally) - Digikey also carries a few in the $50-$100 price range.

I'm going to be putting an order in the next 6 weeks so this thread may help me come to a decision.

Chris
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2014, 08:43:26 pm »

Another good option (or rather I've been looking at), but a little pricey is from ULINE (.COM for US and .CA FOR CANADA) - They sell an item S-12742 which sells around $100 USD or $110ish CAD.
You might want to take a look at this seller on eBay (located in Canada). Very pleased with the mat I bought him, and it's good stuff (2 layer rubber).

To give you an idea of price, he currently has a 30' x 60" mat for $42.50 USD. Even with shipping, it was less than what you're looking at (~$30 USD for shipping).

FWIW for those in the US, here's his US Store.
 

Offline cidcorp

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2014, 03:19:16 am »

You might want to take a look at this seller on eBay (located in Canada). Very pleased with the mat I bought him, and it's good stuff (2 layer rubber).

To give you an idea of price, he currently has a 30' x 60" mat for $42.50 USD. Even with shipping, it was less than what you're looking at (~$30 USD for shipping).


NICE !  :D  I'll give it a look.  Thanks.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2014, 04:00:05 am »
NICE !  :D  I'll give it a look.  Thanks.
You're welcome.  :)

BTW, he stated the mat is made in Canada FWIW.  :o  :P
 

Offline TheBorg

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2014, 04:03:16 am »
Now... is the 2 layer or 3 layer better?  ???
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2014, 04:05:29 am »
Now... is the 2 layer or 3 layer better?  ???
From what I've seen, 3 layer just adds some vinyl to it to cushion impacts even more.

Not worth the extra cost IMHO.
 

Offline TheBorg

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2014, 04:07:56 am »
Now... is the 2 layer or 3 layer better?  ???
From what I've seen, 3 layer just adds some vinyl to it to cushion impacts even more.

Not worth the extra cost IMHO.

Thats what I thought, just wondered if it somehow provided better protection. Looking to get me one of these mats soon, I'm sick of just dealing with a strap and a clip. Alligator clips just suck!
Now... to do up the whole desk or not... time to measure!
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2014, 04:23:11 am »
Thats what I thought, just wondered if it somehow provided better protection. Looking to get me one of these mats soon, I'm sick of just dealing with a strap and a clip. Alligator clips just suck!
Now... to do up the whole desk or not... time to measure!
Nothing more in terms of ESD protection.

As per a wrist or ankle strap, get a good quality one, and attach it via a grounding block (cheap example), even when you have a good mat (covers you if you or the DUT aren't in contact with the mat). Please note, that some straps use a 4mm post, while others use a 10mm post on the strap. This makes a difference on which grounding block you'd need due to the snap connectors used for parking the strap cord (example has 10mm snaps for parking). Ground cable too for that matter, as that's what contains the 1M resistor, not the block or strap.

10mm snap connectors are standard for ESD mats BTW.

For better quality IMHO, go with either Desco or 3M (both are actually manufacturers, not just re-branders of whatever they're selling this week).
 

Lurch

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2014, 03:27:34 pm »
Ground cable too for that matter, as that's what contains the 1M resistor, not the block or strap.

I've got a few different straps and leads. I don't think any of them don't have a resistor in. Only thing that I have that doesn't have a resistor in is the mat.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: ESD Mat
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2014, 01:51:59 am »
Ground cable too for that matter, as that's what contains the 1M resistor, not the block or strap.

I've got a few different straps and leads. I don't think any of them don't have a resistor in. Only thing that I have that doesn't have a resistor in is the mat.
Both the cables I have contain the 1M resistors (10mm snap cable that attaches to the mat, as well as the 4mm cable that attaches to the wrist strap).

Mat does have resistance on the under-side (carbon black side) that varies with distance, but the wrist strap, nothing of consequence (couple ohm maybe, certainly not in the Mega Ohm range) IIRC.
 


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